The Co-op is to create 15 new jobs with a £1million-plus investment in Sunderland.
The firm is investing £1.1million in the city, with the opening of a new store in Springwell Road and improvements to its existing Hylton Castle outlet.
The new £715,000 store, at the junction with The Broadway, is set to open on August 3, while the Hylton Castle’s Co-op in Chiswick Square will relaunch this Friday after a £440,000 investment.
The Springwell Road store is part of a development which also includes a new Greggs outlet, Costa Coffee and a vet's surgery.
The four shop units, which have been built by Sansec Developments, replace the former Broadway House social services building which has been demolished.
The Co-op developments will also mean a funding boost for new-look for local community groups through the Co-op's new Membership scheme. Members receive a 5% reward on purchases of own-branded products and services, with a further 1% going directly to local causes to make a difference in the community.
Local causes set to benefit in Hylton Castle include Green Families and The Charles Young Centre, whilst those in Sunderland Broadway will include Young Asian Voices, Sunderland Theatre Company and St Mark’s Community Association.
Colin Jackson, Area Manager, for the Co-op said: "We are delighted to be making such a significant investment in Sunderland and are looking forward to serving the local communities of the Broadway and Hylton Castle.
"The Co-op is moving forward with a clear purpose and momentum and our ambition is to establish both stores as real assets for the community. We want shoppers to know that they can give back to their community by become a co-owner and member of their Co-op.
"Simply by using their membership card when they shop with us they will raise much needed funding for organisations who contribute to improving local life."
There are offers and promotions in and around both store openings and students in the area who hold an NUS card will receive a 10% discount off their groceries.
Further information about the Co-op membership and the Local Community Fund are available by visiting: http://www.coop.co.uk/membership/